While we regularly see Rich and Nick Bruder bring the heat in their blue Fox body Mustang in X275, Rich Bruder climbed into the driver’s seat of Manny Buginga’s red Fox body Mustang for the first time last fall.
It was during the 18th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, and Bruder — like Buginga, who was in his red New Edge Mustang — was entered in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw, where he qualified sixth with a 4.49 and 159 mph in a full field of fast drivers and lost in the first round after being forced to lift.
Now, he’s preparing to climb back into the car nicknamed Little Red, but in place of its turbo-fronted small-block Ford will be a ProCharger-fronted small-block Ford. The 400ci engine is currently being built by DiSomma Racing Engines. It will be topped with Visner Engine Development heads and a Visner Engine Development billet intake, and fronted by a ProCharger F-1X-12R, which is a departure for Buginga, who has tons of experience with turbos.
Exhaust will exit through a set of zoomie headers by Kooks, and a Proformance Racing Tranmissions-built Turbo 400 and Neal Chance converter will help put power down in the stock-suspended car rolling on 275 radials. Buginga and the Bruders will continue to rely on FuelTech for engine management.
While it appears unlikely that the MJM Construction Corp.-backed car with a Skinny Kid Race Cars-built chassis will be ready for the 9th Annual NMRA/NMCA All Star Nationals, April 6-19 at Atlanta Dragway, plan on Bruder belting in beginning with the 17th Annual WyoTech NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals, May 4-7 at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania.
He’ll have support from his brother, Nick Bruder, car-owner Buginga and Buginga’s crew, which includes TJ Strange and Pat Speers, among others.
“It’s a completely different combination from what I usually run, but we plan to see how fast we can go,” said Buginga, who currently holds the NMRA VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw records with a 4.334 and 177 mph from his New Edge Mustang featuring a DiSomma Racing Engines-built 400ci bullet and 98mm Turbonetics turbo. “We’re hoping for 4.34-4.35 in Little Red so that we can be competitive in both cars, and hopefully, we’ll be numbers one and two by the end of the season. I do have to say that my son, Little Manny, isn’t as excited about us running this car as we are, because sooner or later, he’d like it to be his car.”